Going Live on Social Media

Going live on social media is a fantastic way to connect with your patrons even if they cannot be physically present for programming! Kids especially love to see familiar faces for storytimes and crafts, and live video streams allow you to do so. Depending on your setup, you will also be able to easily engage with your patrons. This section will cover how to go live on Facebook and Instagram, two popular social media tools that your libraries may already be using to connect with your patrons. Please find information about going live on YouTube here. Information about Zoom programming can be found here. Not sure how to plan for running online programs? Check out our collection of resources about doing so here.

To get started running live programs, you will need:

  • A mobile device with a camera (e.g. your smartphone or tablet), OR a computer with a webcam.
  • Credentials for your library's social media accounts (username and password).
  • A cameraperson, phone tripod, or something to prop your device up against (waterbottles and stacks of books work great!).
  • Everything you require to run your program! This might include books, puppets, and props (for storytimes) or all materials for your craft project or science experiment.

We also recommend that you perform a quick check of your filming area to ensure that it is free of anything you would not want to appear on film.

Going Live on Facebook

  1. On your mobile device, navigate to your library's Facebook page (make sure you have administrative privileges!).
  2. On the page, scroll down until you see the "Create a post" menu. In the bottom right corner, click on "Live".
  3. The video view will appear - it's automatically set to use your front view camera! If you would like to switch this to use your rear camera (e.g. if you are filming someone else), tap the camera icon in the top left corner to do so.
  4. Tap on "Type to add a description..." to add a description to your video. Make sure it clearly identifies what's going on: your library's name and the name/type of your program are important to include!
  5. When you are ready to go, tap the blue "Start Live Video" button to get started!
  6. When you are finished, tap "End live video" to end your stream. 

Going Live on Instagram

  1. On your mobile device, open Instagram and navigate to your library's account (make sure you have administrative privileges!)
  2. From your profile page or your home feed screen, tap on your profile image to bring up the Story/Live viewer. It automatically toggles to Story (i.e., to not go live), so you will have to manually switch. At the bottom of your screen, tap on "Live" to do this.
  3. You may have to switch your camera from the front-facing (selfie) to the rear-facing camera. To do so, tap on the camera icon in the bottom right corner.
  4. In the centre left of your screen, tap on "Title" to add a descriptive title to your live video.
  5. When you are ready to go live, tap on the white button in the bottom centre of your screen. You'll get a countdown, and then you'll be ready to go!
  6. After you are finished your program, tap on "End" in the top right corner. You will be asked if you are certain you wish to end your livestream. When you do, you will be given three options: share to Instagram TV (IGTV), Instagram's video browsing service, download the video to your device, or delete the stream. Choose which option works best for your library.

Happy streaming!